In the modern marketplace, payment innovations keep the wheels of commerce spinning smoothly. Advances in technology have been expanding payment options as the world embraces digital transactions. Keep reading to discover today’s emerging payment trends and what to expect in 2023 and beyond.
Why should you care about the trends in payment methods?
Staying informed about evolving payment methods is crucial for both businesses and consumers. A company that adopts new payment technologies can better serve its customers and improve the buying experience. Understanding payment trends helps consumers choose the methods they find safe and convenient.
18 innovative payment trends
Today’s technologies bring new innovations to the payment process. The following are 18 emerging payment trends on the horizon.
1. Contactless payments
Contactless payment is a safe way to buy products and services. Tap-and-go is a contactless payment method that uses radio frequency identification (RFID) and near-field communication (NFC) technologies to transmit payment information electronically. Customers need only tap their credit or debit card on the merchant’s contactless payment symbol.
Contactless payments are safe and secure. The magnetic strip on the back of a debit or credit card is prone to theft when swiped as it contains payment information. Contactless payments provide added protection against fraud as your account information is encrypted.
2. Mobile payments
Mobile payments allow consumers to buy goods and services through a payment app. The wallet or app contains your credit or debit card information, making purchasing goods and services on a mobile device easy. Common mobile wallets include Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Venmo.
3. QR code payments
A patterned image with encoded data is a quick response or QR code. Scanning the QR code using your smartphone camera takes you to a secure payment link. Depending on the QR code setup, you make payments through your mobile wallet or the merchant’s payment system.
4. Buy now, pay later (BNPL)
Many merchants offer buy now, pay later (BNPL) options for customers to pay for their purchases over time. If you make payments as agreed, you will likely pay no interest or minimal fees.
The BNPL option is useful when making large purchases. Enjoy your purchase now without incurring costly fees on your credit card or waiting until you have enough money.
5. Biometric authentication
Biometric payments provide a safe way to transfer funds to buy goods and services. Through a point-of-sale system, biometric authentication identifies the user based on physical traits to authorize payment. Biometric payments commonly rely on facial recognition and fingerprint scans.
6. Subscription-based payments
Subscription-based payments are automatic payments made repeatedly. These payments are withdrawn from your credit card, debit card, or bank account monthly, quarterly, or yearly.
Whether you pay for streaming services like Netflix or have coffee delivered to your house every month, you don’t have to worry about missing a payment.
7. Peer-to-peer payment apps
Peer-to-peer (P2P) payment apps are a quick and easy way to transfer money. Using an app on your phone or computer, you can send money to friends and family, usually with nothing more than an email address or phone number.
8. Real-time payments
Real-time payments (RTP) are payments initiated and completed instantaneously. RTP systems rely on a digital infrastructure allowing money transfers 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
RTP platforms can be helpful when paying monthly bills. Rather than dropping a paper check in the mail and waiting to clear, the RTP is automatically deducted from your bank account and sent directly to the vendor.
9. Wearable devices
You can link your wearable device to your bank account. You can pay by holding your smartwatch or fitness tracker near the contactless holder.
10. In-app purchases
An in-app purchase is a feature you buy while using an app you have downloaded from such app stores as Google Play, iOS App Store, or Mac App Store. Whether you buy an e-book or pay to unlock features within the app, the app store processes your payment.
11. Voice-activated payments
You can make payments by speaking into an artificial intelligence-powered device, such as a smartphone or speaker. Through natural language processing (NLP) technology, the device understands and carries out your request.
Voice-activated payments are like mobile wallets where payment account details are linked. Instead of opening an app, you prompt the device to pay through voice command. Amazon.com Inc.’s Alexa and Apple Inc.’s Siri make it easy to make purchases using voice commands. Plus, the uniqueness of a person’s voice provides added protection against fraud.
12. Social commerce payments
Rather than direct buyers to an outside website, social commerce lets users purchase directly through the social media site. Facebook, Instagram, and other apps with built-in payment functions improve user experience as the purchase is seamless and secure.
13. Subscription-box payments
Subscription boxes are a convenient way to regularly get products you want or need. Curated subscription boxes send a selection of products organized around a theme, such as beauty and skin care. A replenishment subscription ships the same items at regular intervals.
14. Cross-border payments
A cross-border payment is a transaction between a payer and a payee in different countries. Vendors need to adapt their e-commerce strategy to local markets as the economy shifts toward a global marketplace. Merchants who offer payment options familiar to customers in other countries may expand their sales and improve the payment experience.
15. Augmented reality (AR)
Advances in augmented and virtual reality applications could soon offer users an immersive shopping experience. Customers can visualize products in their own settings before making a purchase.
16. Internet of Things (IoT) payments
Internet of Things (IoT) technology relies on devices such as cameras, robots, and sensors. Certain events trigger these devices to make automatic payments using this technology. For example, a smart refrigerator using cameras and sensors to monitor the amount of food stored inside could automatically send and pay for a grocery order if it detects you are running low.
17. Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs)
Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are digital representations of currency issued by a country’s central bank. CBDC can be used to buy goods or services.
18. Cryptocurrency acceptance
Cryptocurrencies are digital assets relying on blockchain technology to verify, execute, and record transactions. The original cryptocurrency Bitcoin was designed as an alternative monetary asset and is accepted by some vendors as a form of payment.
Seamless and safe emerging payment trends
From connected devices to augmented reality, innovations in payment solutions change how people pay for goods and services. Companies that embrace new payment technologies may see added revenue streams and an improved experience. Consumers gain expanded convenient and secure payment opportunities.
How can businesses adopt payment trends?
By working with technology providers and fintechs, a business can adopt digital and cashless payment trends.
Can payment trends help businesses reduce costs?
Payment trends can help businesses save money with reduced fees and faster processing. Digital transactions can offer added protection, reducing the cost of fraudulent activity.
Are there any risks associated with adopting new payment trends?
A business may encounter risks when adopting new payment trends. Digital payments may be subject to increased fraud and customer data security breaches.